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Longtime Mentor Bids GaPMP Farewell
Shirley Moore has served the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership and Glynn County Schools for almost 15 years. This year, she decided that she would devote more time for her family, husband, Gary and “travel some, walk on the beach and just enjoy life,” she said.
“I have made lifelong friends because of this program,” she said. Moore’s parent mentor work led her to begin a Buddy Ball league, which she and her husband, who coaches, have organized for the past 11 years. “Buddy Ball has impacted some of the families I serve. It really meant so much to me when a parent said to me, ‘You don’t realize what this program means to some of these families’,” she said.
Hired by GaPMP Founder Phil Pickens (then director of the Georgia Department of Education Division for Exceptional Students. Georgia) and Patti Solomon, who served the GaDOE as a Family Engagement Specialist and was co founder with Pickens of the GaPMP.
Pickens died in 2005 and Solomon has since retired from the partnership. But Moore continued to work in her part of Georgia. For many years, she contributed beyond her work in Glynn County schools as the coordinator of the GaPMP Sunshine Fund (which raised money to support mentor families when there was a crisis, death or sickness in their family).
Over the years, Moore has seen changes in the GaPMP, particularly in the area of refining the work of parent mentors. She said that policies and changes in the way mentors do their work today really help individuals who do the work of parent mentoring and family engagement in their school districts. Moore believes that newly minted mentors are getting better training and work from a greater knowledge base built over the years compared to the early days of the partnership.
She was also nominated for the Phil Pickens Award in 2016.
Glynn County Schools Director of Special Education Pam McKinnon said, “Shirley Moore is everything the DOE had in mind when the Parent Mentor position was created. In Glynn County we are so grateful for the 14 years of service Shirley has provided to our students and their families. Her kindness, caring and love for all things involving special education will be truly missed. As she moves on to retirement adventures, we wish her well!”